Peri Urban councils seek funding certainty to manage growth

Peri Urban Councils Victoria (PUCV) haBacchus-Marsh-township-2068-1024x682ve welcomed new government funding for vital community infrastructure and are calling on the state government to provide certainty about future funding rounds.

PUCV member councils have secured $13.5 million in government funding under the latest round of the Growing Suburbs Fund for infrastructure that supports a better-balanced lifestyle for their communities.

Cr Brett Tessari, PUCV Chair and Bass Coast Councillor said the funding was a much-needed boost to community infrastructure in high-growth areas.

“People moving into the peri urban regions expect a high standard of social infrastructure and the Growing Suburbs Fund greatly assists our member councils in meeting these demands” Cr Tessari explained.

Cr Tessari said: “To help councils plan for growth we really need the government to ensure there are future funding cycles of the Growing Suburbs Fund.”

“So we are calling on the government to have an annual funding round and ensure the funds are committed to in each state budget cycle,” he said

The Growing Suburbs fund has provided over $30 million in infrastructure across the peri urban region over the past two years, including funding for community hubs, libraries, recreational facilities and tracks and trails.

Successful projects funded under the Growing Suburbs Fund 2021-22 include:

  •  Inverloch to Wonthaggi Trail: Bass Coast Shire Council ($3 million). Total project $7.7 million;
  • Baw Baw Precinct Stage 1: Baw Baw Shire Council ($3.5 million). Total project $30 million;
  • Rokewood Community Hub and Pavilion Upgrade: Golden Plains Shire Council ($3.5 million). Total project $4.8 million; and
  • Ballan Library and Community Hub Program: Moorabool Shire Council ($3.5 million). Total project $7 million.

The Growing Suburbs Fund was established in 2015 as a $375 investment over seven years to support critical infrastructure in fast-growing interface council areas.  It was expanded in June 2020 to include councils in the peri-urban areas of Victoria as an acknowledgement of their growth pressures.

“We want to deliver the social infrastructure for our region that makes it a great place to live and work, but we need to be able to fund and plan accordingly” Cr Tessari concluded.